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Answered 2009-03-21 18:55:31

You really need to be seen by a licensed professional if you suspect you suffer from OCD. I have OCD, and while therapies are helpful in reducing my stress and helping me cope with "spikes" in my OCD, I also have to take medication. There is a biological component to the disease, meaning that it's not simply something that you can teach yourself to make go away. In some people with OCD, the majority actually, the brain is not properly wired, so to speak. There is a lowered serotonin level and so the messages between cells aren't passed effectively. Therefore, what would be a normal thought to someone without OCD becomes an obsessive thought to someone with OCD because the thought gets "stuck" and they can't get it out of their mind. Same thing with the rituals. Whereas a normal person can stop cleaning at a certain point, an OCD person never feels like the space is clean enough, and so can clean forever. OCD is a serious mental disorder that needs to be diagnosed and monitored by a doctor.

There is no disease to man that one should be embarrassed about seeing a doctor about and I suggest you do. Doctors are not there to label you, but hopefully heal and explain what you have to put your mind at rest. Be wise and see your doctor! Here are some ideas if for whatever reason the doctor option is not possible. The specific technique used in BT/CBT is called Exposure and Ritual Prevention (also known as Exposure and Response Prevention) or ERP; this involves gradually learning to tolerate the anxiety associated with not performing the ritual behavior. At first, for example, someone might touch something only very mildly "contaminated" (such as a tissue that has been touched by another tissue that has been touched by the end of a toothpick that has touched a book that came from a "contaminated" location, such as a school.) That is the "exposure." The "ritual prevention" is not washing. Another example might be leaving the house and checking the lock only once (exposure) without going back and checking again (ritual prevention). The person fairly quickly habituates to the (formerly) anxiety-producing situation and discovers that their anxiety level has dropped considerably; they can then progress to touching something more "contaminated" or not checking the lock at all � again, without performing the ritual behavior of washing or checking. There are many treatments and drugs related to this disorder that require seeing a trained professional and this (if possible) is probably your best option.

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